I love the week between Christmas and New Year, and always look forward to the new year arriving. It is such a liminal space, and the quiet limbo of the week is a welcome respite from all the celebrating and anticipation that fills the weeks before this time.
After a year like no other, this week takes on even more resonance, and with it, comes a bit of anticipation, and a little bit of hope. Not that I expect things to change dramatically as of January 1, but the possibility of new energy and plans keeps me going.
So, what to do during this time? Sure, it is tempting to stay in loungewear and watch even more movies and shows, but if there is ever a time to get some things done, this week is it! Just a few actions can usher in some new, welcome energy, and who among us doesn’t need that? Below are a few ways I like to magically welcome the new year, so see which appeals to you and give it a try:
Choosing a word: Instead of resolutions, I like to choose a word as a theme to the coming year. It can be used as a mantra, or a boost of encouragement, and it’s also as a way to get back on track if you find yourself wandering off for distractions and other life events. Some of the words I have used in the past are transform, unfolding, simplify, and mastery. Some people choose a theme of action, such as Love, Health, or Purpose. Whatever you choose, spend some time thinking of what you really want as a foundation of the year. A bit less cumbersome than a resolution, but powerful in its simplicity.
Get a date book/calendar: Sure, there are online calendars, but nothing beats the weight and magic of writing down intentions on your calendar and date book. There are so many to choose from, that the choosing act itself is magical! Want more witchy emphasis in your life? One that emphasizes your interests, say in herbalism or writing? Setting goals, writing down gratitude lists, or even noting important days you want to be sure to celebrate are all part of the magic of date books and calendars. Another bonus is that you can look at it the next New Year’s Eve, and remember those special moments you might have forgotten if you haven’t written it down.
Clean: Clean and sweep that energy before the new year! Clear out a closet or a junk drawer, or even your desk. Focus on having at least one room filled with peaceful, clear energy. Wash the windows, put the clutter of Christmas presents away, dust away all the cobwebs. Take off the ornaments, but leave the lights on your Christmas tree, so that you bring in light to the new year. Dust off your altar, and get it ready for some new year magic and ritual.
Simplify: So often we get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life: things to do, the items we have and collect, the obligations we have on our plate. Take one area (or more, if you are up for it) and simplify. Take it back down to the basics, and keep it as basic as possible. There is so much beauty and resonance in simplifying the overwhelm. If in the process, you can donate excess items and help others, even better. Apply that to your magical practice as well: what can be shed, which parts of your practice do you prefer and what works best for you? How can you deepen your spiritual practice in the new year? Do you want to try meditation? Figure that out in this liminal week, and see where it takes you.
Open the door: In many cultures, opening the door welcomes in new energy, a guest, or in this case, a new year. If you are up at midnight, open all the doors and windows, and let some fresh energy into your home. Usher out the old year and welcome in the vigor of the new. Take deep breaths, and breathe in the sweetness of the fresh, untouched new year. Take that time to cleanse your space with local herbs, incense or Florida water. Wash your doorways and entryways with some protection oil/water/
Use light: Welcome the new year with lighting a candle, a sparkler, or a lantern. No matter what is going on in the world, we have light, so use that light to start the year on a positive, joy-filled, beautifully lit note. Even if you sleep through midnight, start the next morning with lighting a candle, and saying words of hope and joy into the world. Imagine if we all did that, feeling the energy shift a bit in this chaotic, tumultuous world? Give it a try.
Greet the sunrise: There are few sunrises as magical as a new year one. Even if you are not a morning person (I am definitely not), get up and view the sun greeting the day. If you can get out in nature, even better. Arrange for some festive breakfast foods the night before, get the coffee maker and the teapot ready, and know you can also go back to bed for a mid-morning nap afterwards.
However you celebrate this new year, may it be one of positive, deep, contented moments for you. Happy New Year!